Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City

October 31, 2020
Florence Under Siege: Surviving Plague in an Early Modern City

A vivid recreation of how the governors and governed ofearly seventeenth-century Florence confronted, suffered, andsurvived a major epidemic of plaguePlague remains the paradigm against which reactions to manyepidemics are often judged. Here, John Henderson examines how amajor city fought, suffered, and survived the impact of plague.Going beyond traditional oppositions between rich and poor, thisbook provides a nuanced and more compassionate interpretation ofgovernment policies in practice, by recreating the very humanreactions and survival strategies of families and individuals.From the evocation of the overcrowded conditions in isolationhospitals to the splendor of religious processions, Hendersonanalyzes Florentine reactions within a wider European context toassess the effect of state policies on the city, street, andfamily. Writing in a vivid and approachable way, this book unearthsthe forgotten stories of doctors and administrators struggling tocope with the sick and dying, and of those who were left bereft andconfused by the sudden loss of relatives.